You know an event has captured the fans’ attention when you see an endless number of highlight videos and homemade posters created out of love and anticipation for said event. The Strikeforce Heavyweight Tournament certainly qualifies, and one thing I’ve noticed is that everyone would rather have Overeem front and center rather than the guy Strikeforce keeps pushing, Fedor.
And even though I think it’s safe to say we’re all still excited about the tournament, Strikeforce made some more misjudgements a few days ago when they announced the specific rules for the tourney. Let’s get nitpicky!
- Overeem’s heavyweight belt is NOT on the line
- Because of this, all fights will be 3 rounds except the final which will be 5
- The winner becomes Tournament Champion and will fight Alistair Overeem next
- A five person Strikeforce ‘commission’ will decide what happens if a winning fighter can’t continue to the next round
- A fourth judge from Strikeforce will be on hand in case of a draw. This judge will score rounds ‘the PRIDE way’, aka he just picks whoever he thought won.
Let’s start from the bottom: I’m sure Strikeforce thought they were oh so clever announcing contingency plans in advance, but they just sound stupid and unnecessary. Draws rarely occur, and it’s a given that Strikeforce will decide what happens in the event of a draw. But putting a ‘fourth judge’ from Strikeforce on the bench sounds corrupt on it’s face. Ditto with the stupid replacement committee.
Again, OF COURSE the promotion will decide who replaces who in the event of injury, contractual SNAFU, or Act of God. Any good choice will be painfully obvious to both the fans and the promotion. This magical sounding Council of Five just sounds like a way for the promotion to justify whatever shitty decision goes against common sense.
Three round fights – well, that’s really a no-brainer. The only reason we’re talking about this at all is because SF/ SHO kept mentioining all fights being 5 rounders, which in turn was only being talked about because they kept saying the heavyweight belt would be up for grabs during each round. Now the belt is out of the picture, and Strikeforce is using the 5 round thing as the excuse. Not only did they get busted on that, but NO ONE CARED ABOUT THE ROUND CRAP. Why’d they even bumble around that shit in the first place?
Which brings me to the belt not being up for grabs. Strikeforce points to PRIDE and how their belts weren’t up for grabs during tournaments. But that ignores the fact that past corrupt matchmaking and judging, the 3rd biggest gripe about PRIDE was all the non-title fights. We saw first hand what happened when champions lost and still kept the belt. It sucked.
But hey, if Strikeforce doesn’t want the belt in the tournament, whatever. I just think they’re passing up a once in their lifetime opportunity to have their Heavyweight title actually mean something. It was going to be an 8 man tournament where the winner comes out the undisputed Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion. Possibly even ranked #1 heavyweight by the MMA media.
Instead, fighters will now be competing for a tournament title with no history, a kooky bracket setup, and some strange ‘Strikeforce decides’ advancement rules. The winner gets to challenge the champion, which may I remind you only happens if the champion has already lost during the tournament. Joy of joys.
Strikeforce has managed once again to suck a decent amount of awesome out of their awesome sounding plans. I’d be shocked … if they didn’t consistently do that. Remember the middleweight tournament that never happened? Remember their women’s 135 pound tournament, which ended up being 4 women fighting 6 minute fights for #1 contendership? Wait, never mind. #2 contendership. Sometime in 2011. Who knows when, we’ll get to it sooner or later. Remember Carano vs Cyborg, the biggest fight in WMMA? Strikeforce fumbled that because they were too busy sucking Fedor’s cock.
Jesus Christ, Strikeforce. I’m still excited for this tournament, but you’re making it more difficult than it needs to be.